For more than a decade, Middle C Music has equipped songcrafters with the instruments and expertise needed to articulate their own sonic expressions. Racks of guitars and ukuleles hang from the shop’s walls, along with accessories such as sheet music, songbooks, and extra sets of limbs for playing double guitars. Orchestral instruments by the likes of Bach, Jupiter, and Cannonball are available for purchase or month-by-month rentals. The shop also curates a team of musical experts of various disciplines for weekly lessons and Rock Band camps, where kids spend five days learning to play as an ensemble and spin their own interpretations of rock classics.
Let There Be Rock School disproves the cynical idiom, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." with instructors who are working rock musicians. All of them are well-versed in performance and eager to coach young, aspiring stars. During weekly one-on-one lessons, they help students with their playing and stage presence, preparing them for the school's version of a recital: a concert at a local music venue.
Their mentorship is only one part of the curriculum, however. After being sorted into a band, students rehearse and jam with their teammates under the guidance of a band manager. When they aren't working on their songs, they retire to the Rock Lounge, where members can watch movies and study Pete Townshend's windmill technique in super slow-motion.
Kids can sign up for one of two Let There Be Rock School programs. The All Access Lesson Program is meant for beginning musicians, and familiarizes them with an instrument. More advanced students enroll in the VIP All Access Performance program, which focuses on music theory and includes band practice.
Showcasing their tonal talents from the Washington D.C. area to their latest Houston-area locale, the staff of Just Rock Enterprises helps guests live their musical dreams by offering private lessons in voice, piano, stage choreography, and songwriting. Instructors customize lessons to fit each student?s needs, offering unique ways of imparting knowledge such as conducting lessons via Skype or by corralling several interested parties into small-group summer camps.
In a CBS piece entitled "Best Places for Guitar Lessons in D.C.," the following was said of Georgetown Guitar Academy: "If you want to learn classical guitar from the best in D.C., Piotr Pakhomkin is certainly one of them."
A Russian-American guitarist, Pakhomkin has won first place at a number of international competitions. He's also dazzled crowds and pupils at renowned venues across the globe as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist, and masterclass instructor. Today, inside of his spacious, 1,100-square-foot studio, Piotr trains both beginners and professional-level students the ways of classical, Spanish, and acoustic guitar. He also offers online lessons to international students, which means that they don't have to travel to the states or learn via really loud, transatlantic yelling.
Founder-director Isabel Benemelis grew up in Cuba, surrounded by the mambo tunes and Afro-Cuban rhythms that earned the country its reputation as a musical hot spot. At age 4 she took up the piano, and by 7 she found herself "mesmerized by the music of Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach" whenever it hit her ears. This immersion in multiple genres influenced Benemelis when she built her school from oboe reeds in 1995: faculty members specialize in classical music, but ably veer into jazz and Latin scores if students have an interest. During one-on-one, 30-minute lessons, they teach adults and children older than age 4 to play piano, guitar, saxophone, bongos, and a host of other instruments. In keeping with the school’s multidisciplinary roots, many instructors are also fluent in English and Spanish.
The Guitar Lab elevates musicians' guitar-playing skills with lessons for players in all stages of the learning process. Lessons cover a wide range of knowledge, from music theory and sight reading to improvisation, with a focus on experimentation. Instructors also put an emphasis on ensemble playing, offering lessons with The Guitar Orchestra, in which up to 12 guitarists participate in workshop-style group lessons.